In my weeks after vacation (and while the school system is still on winter break), I reorganized and caught up on some research. I had a meeting with my advisor and we defined a little more the research she wants. So I tweaked my plan of action a bit, gathered some articles for a new literature review, and spent a lot of time reading and writing these weeks. I feel like I did at the end of the Spring semester when I was spending a lot of time in the library, just reading and writing. The student will return to school August 17 so this time of collecting thought, writing lesson plans, and general preparation is kind of like the calm before the storm.
Between days with my head in the (electronic) books, we took an office field trip to some farms in rural Lima. FAO, the various Ministries (of Education, of Health, of Development and Social Inclusion), and a few folks from the UNDP went to the farms. It was an intersectoral field trip, if you will. We went to three farms and met some wonderful famers (all ladies) and had a delicious lunch prepared with goodness from the farms.
The point of the field trip was to visit some of the farms that provide for the Qali Warma school feeding program (some of these farmers also participate in the weekend BioFerias [eco fairs] in the weekend markets in metropolitan Lima), strengthen the relationship with those farmers, get better insight as to how and where our food comes, how far it travels, etc. It was a fun trip, and a nice bonding experience.
The day after the farm visit, there was a conference with FAO and the ministries that was wrapping a series of workshops. I had the pleasure of attending some of the workshops earlier in my internship and learned a lot. The overall theme of the workshops were to discuss the successes and challenges of the School Feeding Program. It’s a continuous work of progress as there are many facets of this Program; but the efforts to better articulate the role of the actors, next steps, and goals have a history of success. The workshops have been full of great information and give me ideas for my personal project, more topics and areas to research, and give me a better understanding of how government policy is born.
I am half way through my internship now and I actually have the most amount of work ahead of me. I will return to school next week when the kids return from their break, and we shall continue work in the garden. I will also prepare lessons to teach the kids the importance of the garden, food security, and, of course, compost.